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The First Asteroid-Comet With Rings Discovered

4 years ago1K views

GeoBeats

Geo Beats

For the first time ever, scientists have found rings on an asteroid-comet called Chariklo that is 155 miles wide and shaped like a piece of M&M candy. It is orbiting in our solar system between Saturn and Uranus.

For the first time ever, scientists have found rings on an asteroid comet called Chariklo that is 155 miles wide and shaped like a piece of M&M candy.

It is orbiting in our solar system between Saturn and Uranus.

Before this discovery, scientists only knew about the rings around the four gas planets in our solar system, Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus and Saturn, which has the most prominent ones.

According to data from seven different telescopes, Chariklo reportedly has two concentric rings made of water ice that are two and four miles wide with a five and half mile gap in-between them.

Lead author of the study is quoted as saying: "We weren't looking for a ring and didn't think small bodies like Chariklo had them at all ... As well as the rings, it's likely that Chariklo has at least one small moon still waiting to be discovered."

Chariklo is hard to study from Earth because it only reflects three percent of the light that contacts the asteroid.

The discovery of the rings was made when Chariklo was spotted passing in front of a distant star by an international team of scientists.

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